Banana Coconut Protein Oats

Oh, oatmeal. I kind of like you, kind of don’t.

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Oatmeal is one of those foods that I am just “eh” about. Yes it is really good for you and helps to lower cholesterol, has a lot of fiber, and is one of those unprocessed carbohydrates straight from the earth (WIN).

But it can also be very plain Jane. Ya know?

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The other issue I have with oatmeal is that it’s like this big ball of carbs in the morning and I am someone who likes a little protein to round it all out and keep me going throughout the first few hours of my day.

If you can relate to any of these “eh” feelings about oatmeal, fear no more. I have some solutions.

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First, let’s discuss the boring issue. Nobody should have a plain Jane breakfast. Breakfast should be delicious, exciting and sexy.

The great thing about oatmeal is that you can dress it up big time. Here, I’ve added in cinnamon, vanilla almond milk, a banana, coconut, and some new-to-me AMAZING peanut butter called “Coconut and Peanut Spread” by Earth Balance. Have you guys seen this before? It caught my eye at the grocery story and I was transported to another place when I tried it. It is SO good and will make you feel like you’re in the tropics. Really.

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Next, let’s discuss the protein issue. To get in some extra protein, I stirred in about 1/4 cup of egg whites at the last second while cooking the oats. This not only gave me a protein boost but it made my oats super FLUFFY. Yum.

Additionally, adding a spoonful of peanut butter also adds in some protein. Sounds like a rounded out bowl of oats to me.

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This oatmeal was neither plain Jane nor a heavy bowl of carbs. It was smooth, sweet, hearty, fluffy, well-rounded, and totally satisfying.

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What are your thoughts on oats? Love them? Hate them? “Eh”?

See these other oatmeal recipes for more ideas:

Strawberry Overnight Oats

Mango Coconut Oats

Banana Coconut Protein Oats (serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup dry oats- old fashioned or instant
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • spoonful of nut butter
  • 1 T unsweetened coconut
  • dashes of cinnamon

1. In a small sauce pan, add in the oats, water, milk, cinnamon and sliced banana pieces. Allow to come to a boil, then stir over medium/low heat until oats cook and absorb the liquid to your desired consistency. By adding in the banana in the beginning, it gives it time to break down and get really sweet.

2. Add in the egg white, and keep stirring for another minute or so while they cook into the oatmeal, making it fluffy!

3. Add to a bowl and top with coconut and nut butter. Additional cinnamon if you’d like!

Brunch with Friends and an Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

This weekend I had two my of best gal pals over for some catching up . The three of us hadn’t had the chance to actually talk in weeks, which was unusual for us considering that we usually talk almost every day. I sent out a cute little Evite about two weeks ago and we all committed to a homemade brunch at my place.

After a fun night out on Saturday night, I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed and excited to see my girls. Even more excited to cook for them.

First things first, the studio needed a bit of a tune up. She was lookin’ a little sleepy and was not ready for guests.

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Just a few minutes later, we were ready:

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Much better.

Now, on to the food. I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute ingredients, and then got cooking.

First up, ‘taters. One of my friends is Gluten Free so I designed the menu to have zero gluten. Potatoes were therefore the carb of choice, and I decided to keep them simple by roasting them with some garlic, spices, and herbs.

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Popped these babies into the oven and moved on.

Next up was the star of the day, an egg white and loaded veggie frittata that I had on my mind. These girls like to keep it healthy, as do I, and I will find any way to sneak my friends some extra veggies without them even noticing. I am only looking out for their best interest and health ya know?

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Oh yes, this turned out so well! I was very very happy with the result and will be making this one again, for sure.

I also chopped up some fruit for a colorful fruit salad. Plums, banana, strawberries, blueberries and pear.

One of my friends, Amanda, is in culinary school at ICE and just finished up “baked goods” week. HA, how convenient. Lucky for us, she brought over many, many of her leftover treats. The perfect complement to a healthy brunch.

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We loaded up on coffee and sat around finally catching up for a few hours. You know how it goes… we could have talked forever and literally lost track of time. A girls brunch success!

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We didn’t get a good picture of us (we tried the selfie thing a few times and pretty much failed) but here is a pic of us from last year:

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What I loved most about the frittata was the fresh herbs. If you do make this, I would say don’t skimp on the herbs! They added such a fresh, garden taste to the eggs. This can also be made at the start of a week and cut into slices that can be used for a pre-made breakfast throughout the week. This morning, I had leftovers and just heated the slice for about 30 seconds in the microwave, added some hot sauce, and avocado toast on the side. It was great having this made ahead of the time and not having to think about it.

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Roasted Potatoes

  • several red and brown potatoes, of any kind
  • parsley
  • salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
  • olive oil
  • garlic

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil

2. Chop a few garlic cloves into tiny pieces, set aside.

3. Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Top with garlic, a couple tablespoons of EVOO, salt, pepper, and a generous helping of cayenne and paprika, depending on how spicy you like it. Top with parsley. Mix with hands and then spread out on baking sheet.

4. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring once.

Egg White, Veggie and Herb Frittata

(serves 5 or 6)

  • About 1 cup of egg whites (I used the ones in the carton)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup assorted bell pepper, chopped
  • handful or two of kale, chopped
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • EVOO, S&P

1. Add a couple tablespoons of EVOO to a skillet. Add chopped garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat.

2. Add sliced onions and let them caramelize for about 10 minutes while you are chopping everything else up. Stir them occasionally and season with S&P.

3. Add mushrooms and peppers and let them cook until soft. Finally, add Kale and herbs. Allow everything to cook for a few more minutes. Season with additional S&P if desired.

4. Line a quiche dish or pie dish (or you can just keep it in the skillet) with some cooking spray.

5. Add your cooked veggies to the pie dish and then top with the cup of egg whites. Feel free to use real eggs and adjust the amount of eggs/egg whites so that the frittata is as thick as you’d like.

6. Top with a sprinkle of feta, salt and pepper.

7. Pop into a 350 degree oven. Once the egg whites are mainly cooked (after about 20 minutes), put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn! You just want the top to get slightly brown and crusty.

8. Cut and serve! Top with hot sauce if you like a kick.

Honey Rosemary Roasted Carrots

I have carrots for you today. Carrots. But they are special carrots….

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I picked these bad boys up from the Farmer’s Market the other day and couldn’t get over how oddly creepy yet beautiful they looked.

Rainbow carrots, they are called.

And they were even prettier once I did a little makeover to them. All nicely washed, peeled, and chopped. Much better:

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I love finding new vegetable recipes that I love. Because what’s better than eating vegetables that you know are super healthy that are also really delicious?

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I added some Olive Oil, a drizzle of honey, S&P, and chopped rosemary to the carrots and stuck them in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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That’s all. Just some perfectly sweet, beautiful, healthy carrots.

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I’ve already enjoyed them two ways. I can’t get enough of them!

Once with fish and brown rice:

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And another as an addition to a brown rice “taco bowl”:

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Mmm…. I hope you like these as much as I do. They’re great to store in your fridge all week to add to salads, or as a side to your lunch/dinner. Even add them to omelettes in the morning for breakfast. Or just snack on them with a little feta? Possibilities are endless!

Honey Rosemary Roasted Carrots

  • about 4 cups of sliced carrots
  • about 2 T olive oil
  • about 2 T honey
  • S&P
  • 1 or 2 T of chopped rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Combine everything and lay out on a lined baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, checking on them midway and giving them a little stir.

Last Day to Sign Up for April Intuitive Eating Challenge

Hi everyone!

Just a quick post to say that today will be the last day to sign up for the April Intuitive Eating Challenge. We’ve gotten a good group of people so I am going to close the sign up a bit early… if you’re on the fence and still want to sign up, just let me know by the end of the day.

Thanks!

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Currently I’m…

This “Currently, I’m…” theme has been going around the blog world and I thought I’d partake. I love hearing bits and pieces about other peoples lives and getting to share some of mine with you, especially since I haven’t been blogging as much these days.

Currently, I’m….

Craving…

A plain old laid-back, normal weekend in NYC. I have been all over the place these past few weekends, and am also going to be going away this weekend. I’m really looking forward to finally being back in the city toward the end of the month, having more laid back weekends, and hangin’ with my friends in the hopefully warmer weather.

Traveling to…

Florida! Okay, can’t complain here. I am heading to my parents house in Florida today for a few days and can’t wait.

Reading…

This book. You guys can probably tell that I am a self-development, self-discovery junkie by now. It’s just what I love. I’m fascinated by people, life, and new ways to look at things. I guess it makes sense that I am a coach.

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This book is all about getting clear on your core desired feelings as your goals vs. having hard-set goals like a six figure business or the right man. It has already shifted how I set intentions for what I want in my life.

Missing…

The Bachelor. Seriously, already feeling a void since the Finale on Monday. What to do on Monday nights without Sean? I’m honestly not sure yet.

Eating…

Both this:

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And this:

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Balance, I guess? I equally love ice cream and spinach.

Excited by…

My new website that I’ve been working on with the most amazing web developers. I searched for a while for the right fit in terms of who to work with, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision and how things look so far. I can’t wait to show it to you guys soon!

Planning…

My brother is getting married at the end of the summer and wedding planning is kicking in to high gear. I will be busy being the best bridesmaid I can be to Mara (his fiance) and the most supportive sister I can be to my brother over the next few months and am getting SO excited about everything that entails.

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(my bro and Mara)

Loving…

Spring clothes.. they’re the best. So many cute things out there!! I keep “treating myself” to new clothes and at some point I need to stop. I’ve been pinning and dreaming on my Style Pinterest board:

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Having fun with…

My ridiculously long hair. My hair is the longest it has been, maybe ever, and it’s like I have to learn about it all over again. I actually watch YouTube videos about cool and fun hairstyles for very very long and thick hair (I have never been into this stuff before but suddenly am). And then I try to replicate, laugh, try to fix it with lots of bobby pins, and realize just how much room I have for improvement. I did learn how to do a fishtail braid to myself the other day though… Props!

Listening to…

A lot of Spotify… loving this song in particular right now:

What about you??

What are you craving/traveling to/loving/planning/excited by/missing/etc….?

A reminder about the April Intuitive Eating Challenge. Email me at jamiemendell@gmail.com with “April IE Challenge” in the subject line to get on the list!

April 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge

Good morning!

As many of you know, I’ve been running Intuitive Eating challenges for the last couple of months. Each time, I keep refining the program to be better, based on how the women work through the program and what I feel needs to be changed.

Today I am happy to say we will be doing the Challenge again in April, starting April 1st. Below are the updated details:

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The point of the 21 Day Intuitive Eating Challenge is to make steps toward becoming more Intuitive Eaters. This means:

– breaking the Diet Mentality

– taking a hard look at Emotional Eating and reducing the amount of times we eat for emotional reasons.

– listening to our own bodies instead of outside rules telling us what and when we should eat

– eating what we want when we are hungry and learning how to be truly satisfied with our food choices

– respecting when our bodies are full and satisfied and reducing the amount of times we overeat

The Challenge is for you if: 

– you feel like you constantly need to control your diet and exercise

– you deprive yourself and then overeat/binge

– you often times eat for reasons other than pure hunger

– you know what you “should” eat to lose weight, but aren’t able to

– you feel guilty when eating unhealthy food

– you have a constant chatter in your head telling you what you “should” and “shouldn’t” eat and you just want it to stop

Here is what the challenge entails: 

– Three 15 minute one-on-one coaching calls with me. One will be before the challenge starts. During this call, we will hone in on your personal, specific struggles with emotional eating, overeating, controlling your diet, and intuitive eating and figure out how you should personally approach the challenge to get the most out of it. The second 15 minute call will be a checkpoint in the middle to touch base on how the program is going for you and any questions that you have. The last call is at the end. This will give us a chance to debrief and recap how the challenge went for you, discuss any questions you have, and talk about how you can work on being more Intuitive in your life going forward.

– Daily newsletters from me that arrive in your inbox every single morning at 6am. Each newsletter outlines a different topic and lesson pertaining to Intuitive Eating and challenges you to try to incorporate the lesson into your life from that day going forward. The newsletters have a flow to them – they strategically guide you so that the lessons can build on one another.

– Personal one-on-one coaching with me through email. I respond within 24 hours and coach you through your own personal struggles, questions, and successes. Some people like to email me daily to check in, others email me with road bumps or situations that are specific to their own lives and schedules.

– Access to the private Intuitive Eating Challenge Facebook Group. This has been really active with each group- people have posted pictures of their food, how they are taking the lessons each day and incorporating them into their day-to-day, “ah ha” moments that they have, and questions for the group.  As Clare says “This group is AMAZING. Just knowing you have a place to quickly share ANY thought, fear, success, question and be greeted with helpful answers and calming words is incredible. I want to stay in it forever.” Note: It is not mandatory to be part of this group if you want to remain private.

The cost of the Challenge for the month of April is $49.

I will be closing the sign up on Friday, March 22nd (if not earlier, if we fill up) so that we can schedule the initial private one-on-one coaching calls for the last week of March.

To see what people are saying about the challenge, head over to the main Intuitive Eating Challenge page and scroll down. 

Please email me at jamiemendell@gmail.com with  “April IE Challenge” in the subject line if you’d like to join the challenge. From there, we will get you signed up.

Whole Wheat Fresh Berry and Ginger Scones

Oh, scones. There is something just so quaint and homey about you.

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I love scones because they are not overly sweet. In fact, these scones have hardly any sugar in them.

They are made from simple and wholesome ingredients: fresh berries, crystalized ginger, whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, milk, a little bit of butter, and a touch of sugar in the raw.

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These were really simple to make. I mixed together the dry ingredients, then worked in the butter (I learned out to “cut butter” into the flour by watching a quick YouTube video), milk, and greek yogurt. Finally, I added the berries and ginger, a touch of lemon and lemon zest, and rolled it all out in a random blob.

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I tried to make “scone-like” shapes out of it, and ended up with a whole bunch of different sized slices. But hey, that’s what homemade is supposed to look like, right?

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These came out delicious. I LOVE the fresh berries. So many recipes called for using dried fruit, but I would highly recommend using fresh fruit. The sweetness of the berries heightened with the heat of the oven, and the berries were sweet and melty when they were done cooking.

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I brought a few of these over to my brother and his fiance that night, saved a couple for myself in my fridge for breakfast, and individually wrapped the rest and froze them for future mornings. And obviously ate one straight out of the oven for an afternoon snack.

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These scones would be perfect alongside a cup of coffee in the morning with some berries on the side, paired with a couple of eggs, or used for a mid afternoon snack with a cup of tea. They are simple, made with wholesome ingredients, and incredibly satisfying.

Enjoy! 🙂

Whole Wheat Fresh Berry and Ginger Scones 

(adapted from this recipe)

makes about 14 scones

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • .5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 T baking power
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 4 T turbinado (raw) sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 5 T butter
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 0%, fat free)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger
  • 1 T lemon juice + 1 T lemon zest
  • dash of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine yogurt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. This will turn the yogurt in a light, fluffy, meringue-type texture.

3. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk together.

4. Cut the butter into bite sized pieces and then add it in to the flour mixture. Use your hands to coat the butter with the flours and to mix it all together. Or, use this video to learn more about “cutting” the butter into the flour with knives. 

5. Add in the greek yogurt and milk. Mix well.

6. Add in the chopped berries and chopped ginger. Add in lemon zest, and squeeze of lemon juice.

7. Mix well together. On a floured surface, lay out the dough and spread until it is a 1/2 inch thick. Cut into triangles and lay out on baking sheets. I lined the baking sheets with a tiny bit of butter, but you can use parchment paper instead.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly brown on edges.

The Week I Talked To 35 Women About Their “Food Issues”

After running the February Intuitive Eating Challenge, I strongly felt that the next time I did the challenge, I should add an initial and final one-on-one coaching call for me to connect with each of the women, personally. I wanted to understand them better, and I wanted them to feel a connection to me as I guided them through a three week journey that was going to drastically challenge their “dieting” beliefs. Most importantly, I wanted to give them the opportunity to just talk.

So, as part of the March Intuitive Eating Challenge, I added in two 15 minute one-on-one coaching calls for each of the participants.

And last week, before the March challenge started, I held all of the initial calls. I sat in my little studio apartment and spent my time talking to 35 women about their relationship to food, their bodies, and themselves.

The week that I talked to 35 women about their food issues was one of the most meaningful, touching and eye opening weeks I have had in a long time.

Each of these women has her own story, her own history and her own struggle with her body and her weight.

These struggles run deep, and these talks were emotional. Some of these women even cried to me within minutes of our first words.

These women are from all over the United States, are of all ages and backgrounds, and have totally different lifestyles and jobs.

Some are college graduates, and some are moms of four kids. Some are marathon runners and some struggle to get off the couch. Some are trying to lose weight, some are trying to maintain, and some are trying to gain weight.

Some have been dieting for 3 years and some have been dieting for 30 years.

But despite their differences, I was so deeply moved by how much these women all have in common in regards to their “food issues”.

When it comes to the relationship that these women have to food and their bodies,  there are such obvious themes that connect all of them, and that I believe connect so many of us, as women. 

These women are exhausted. By the voices in their heads that beat them up for eating what they shouldn’t be eating. By all of the questioning. By the constant cycles of dieting and bingeing. By the weight gains and weight losses that they keep experiencing.

They are exhausted from trying to control everything.

Each of these women has a hard time with self trust, self love or self care in some form of another. I know that, as women, we can all relate to this. We question ourselves constantly. We judge ourselves and compare ourselves to other people. We aren’t sure if what we really want to eat, do, say, is “right” or if it’s enough.

They feel like they need permission to do what they actually want with their diet.

They all struggle with:

Lack of trust.

Need for Control.

Self- Doubt and Self Criticism.

Restriction, rules, judgement.

Emotional Eating.

So you know what happens when 35 women come together and try to give up all of the dieting mumbo jumbo, repair their relationship to food, and work together on getting back to themselves, their cravings, and what they actually want?

Watch. Out.

The support among them has seriously blown me away. We have this Facebook Group and it’s a non stop outpouring of support for one another.

One woman posts a success, or an “ah-ha” moment, and everyone celebrates.

One women posts a struggle, and she is clearly beating herself up. Others are there for her within minutes. Telling her that they just had a similar experience the night before.

It has become clear that there are so many other qualities that these women have in common:

These women are incredibly loving.

They support the hell out of each other.

They are open to something new.

They are aware.

They are willing.

They are strong.

They want to learn about themselves again and learn to trust themselves. They want permission to give up the “shoulds” and just be themselves. They want to see what this feels like. They want to feel free.

The week I talked to 35 women about their “food issues” was beautiful, meaningful and so profound.

I realized the strings of connection that tie us, as women, together. The themes, struggles, and desires that are prevalent in so many of our lives.

And most importantly, I realized the power that we have when we support each other. It blows my mind.

An IINspiring Weekend… Back Where It All Began

This weekend was a really meaningful one for me. In 2010, I graduated as a Certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. (IIN)

Although I was working in finance at the time, I went to Columbus Circle two weekends a month and sat in this gorgeous auditorium to learn.

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This weekend I went back for a Live Alumni Event for the whole weekend.

Before the weekend, I hadn’t thought much of it. I was excited, and particularly excited to see certain speakers. But it wasn’t until I sat down in those chairs again that everything started to sink in. Of course, I got a little emotional… you know me!

As soon as I sat down I thought, man… 3 years ago, when I was sitting here, I was so lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do about my career, I loved the idea of making Health Coaching my career but knew that I did not have the courage, I was struggling with my own body and weight, and had a general lack of fulfillment in my life at the time.

3 years later, and things are so different. I actually do have that health coaching career that I only dreamed about the last time I was in those seats. I have figured out my own body and weight issues, and my life is way more fulfilling. I took a few minutes when I first sat down to just think about how much of a difference 3 short years can make.

I know that I still have so much I want to learn, do, experience, and so many areas I want to grow in, but it was a really interesting point of reflection that I wasn’t expecting to feel this weekend.

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At IIN, there is a general theme that in our lives, we all have “Primary Food” and “Secondary Food”. Primary Food are the various aspects of our lives that feed our soul. They have nothing to do with food. They are areas such as Relationships, Career, Spirituality, Finances, Social Life, Home Environment and Joy. When these various components are not satisfied, we reach for Secondary Food, which is actual physical food. The food is there to fill some sort of a void that we have in our lives.

As coaches from IIN, we know that Primary Food is so important. I see it time and time again with my clients– it’s really all about the Primary Food. Most of us know what to eat, but we aren’t doing it. Why? Because our Primary Food is unsatisfied in some way.

This weekend, the point was to make sure that we, as coaches, were paying attention to our OWN primary food. It was a weekend that made us look at our own lives and examine various areas of lack and fulfillment. We all have such strong missions to help people, and this was such a good reminder to fill up our own buckets as well.

And it was an opportunity for us to get honest about what was going on in our lives. What we were neglecting, what we were paying too much attention to, where we felt balanced and unbalanced.

I left feeling renewed, inspired and empowered. I felt taken care of, like I have this whole community of people who have my back.

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Do you think there are areas of your life that feel unbalanced? Are there any Primary Foods that you aren’t feeling satisfied with? Do you feel that this concept of a lack of Primary Food causing you to overeat or not take care of yourself is something that’s going on in your life?

Share if you’d like or simply just think about one area in your life that you’d like to be more fulfilling– whether it be your relationship to your boyfriend/husband or your job or your home environment– and try to put some extra effort into that area today.

And if you have any questions about IIN after reading this, definitely let me know!